About Moses Brown School
Moses Brown School, a renowned Quaker institution, boasts a rich history that spans nearly 240 years. The school was originally founded in 1784 as the Friends Yearly Meeting School in Portsmouth, RI. More than three decades later, in 1819, prominent Quaker Moses Brown donated the land where our campus has evolved over time. With this generous gesture, the school was reestablished in Providence at its current location under the name Friends Boarding School, New England Meeting.
In 1904, to honor the esteemed founder and benefactor, the school was officially renamed Moses Brown School. Since then, Moses Brown School has become one of the oldest Quaker and preparatory schools in the United States, driven by a vision to provide an exceptional education while embodying the Quaker values of community, equality and social responsibility.
Throughout its history, Moses Brown School has remained committed to upholding its legacy of academic excellence and dedication to Quaker principles. Today, the school continues to thrive as it carries forward the tradition of providing an outstanding education in the spirit of its founder, Moses Brown.
About Moses Brown
Excerpts taken from the Rhode Island Historical Society Moses Brown papers:
"Moses Brown (1738-1836) was an influential opponent of slavery; patron of education, religion and agriculture; and prominent Quaker. He was also a central figure in the birth of the Industrial Revolution, founding what was generally considered to be the first factory in America. In a busy life that spanned 98 years, he prominent in virtually every aspect of life in his home town of Providence, Rhode Island.
Moses Brown was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the youngest of James and Hope (Power) Brown. He was the grandson of Baptist minister James Brown (1666-1732), and his father was a prosperous merchant.
Brown's final great contribution to Rhode Island life was his role in the revival of the New England Yearly Meeting. It had existed intermittently in the 1770s and 1780s but died through lack of interest.
In 1814, Brown presented the Yearly Meeting with 43 acres of land in Providence and worked diligently toward the creation of a school on this land. He rendered important financial assistance, and also donated his impressive book collection to the school library. His son Obadiah was a major supporter of this effort until his untimely death in 1822. Moses Brown served as the school's treasurer until shortly before his own death in 1836, at the age of 98. The school was later renamed in his honor as the Moses Brown School and remains the leading preparatory school in the state.